Barcelona and PSG lock horns in pursuit of soon to be out-of-contract Man City favourite

Ben Stewart
Armando Broja of Chelsea goes past Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City

PSG are set to battle Barcelona for the signature of Ilkay Gundogan as the German midfielder’s contract with Manchester City is set to expire.

Gundogan has been a vital cog in Pep Guardiola’s side over the past few years. Indeed, the Germany midfielder scored the winning goal to clinch the Premier League title last season.

The 32-year-old is now in his seventh season with City, which could prove to be his last. His current deal is set to expire in the summer and he is yet to commit to a new deal.

There has been speculation that Gundogan himself is ready for a fresh challenge at the end of the season.

Gundogan has started in 10 Premier League matches this season and has provided four goal contributions in that time.

Last season he featured in 27 league matches and scored eight goals as well as providing four assists. While City do have several other stars, Gundogan’s role in midfield cannot be underestimated.

The German midfielder provides experience and balance to arguably the best midfield in world football.

PSG and Barcelona want Gundogan

As his contract is now running down, PSG and Barcelona are two of the biggest European clubs who are interested in Gundogan.

A report from El Nacional has explained that both clubs are keen on striking a deal for Gundogan next summer.

The report explains that Barcelona are ‘assessing whether at the end of the current season they can incorporate him at zero cost’ due to his contract expiring.

It is also believed that Barcelona ‘will have to make a good offer at an economic level if they want to convince Gundogan’ to join.

French champions PSG are the other side who are keen on pursuing a deal for the German.

The same report explains that PSG ‘is already working to try to sign Gündogan at the end of the season’.

A similar transfer battle played out in the summer of 2021 between these clubs for Georginio Wijnaldum. PSG came out on top on that occasion and signed him on a free transfer.

Man City would need to replace him

City have an excellent track record in the transfer market, but they would be hard-pressed to find an instant replacement for Gundogan.

Guardiola’s side currently sit second in the Premier League, five points behind leaders Arsenal. This season they have averaged 2.2 points per game and are projected to finish with 86 points.

While some vulnerabilities have been exposed at times, they have still looked ruthlessly brilliant.

They have averaged 66.6 per cent possession, which is more than any other Premier League side this season.

Gundogan keeps things ticking in the middle and averages 48.5 passes per game with a success rate of 89.7 per cent.

The German’s importance in the City set-up has seemingly grown year upon year. At the start of the season he was elected as the club’s new captain, following the departure of stalwart Fernandinho.

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